Mozambicans claim Americans Arms Used by Portugal to Fight Africans
Two Africans revolutionary leaders charged the U.S government last night with supplying Portugal with arms which are being used against the African liberation movements in Angola and Mozambique.
George Rebello and Jaime Sigauke, officials of the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO), told a Quincy House African Table audience of Portuguese torture and oppression in the East African colony, and described the spreading in northern Mozambique.
Rebello, FRELIMO'S secretary of information and until recently a student in Lisbon, said the U.S. since 1951 has given Portugal over half a billion dollars in war materials through the NATO alliance. Though the U.S stresses that the arms are for the defence of Europe and are "not to be used in the Portuguese colonies", the rebels have captured Americans weapons in Mozambique since the revolt began in earnest in September.
In recent months, the leaders said, FRELIMO's forces have carried out numerous small attacks in the country, including one major strike in December in which 115 Portuguese soldier were killed. However, the rebels refuse to engage in terrorist tactics against civilians, they maintained, because the movement receives support from anti-government whites inside the country.
Sigauke, director of FRELIMO activities inside Mozambique, told a harrowing story of more than two years confinement in Portuguese prisons before he escaped from the country last July. Forced to watch the fatal beating of other prisoners, Sigauke himself spent a month in hospital as a result of torture from security police.
Although Mozambique has been under Portuguese domination since Vascoda Gama landed there in 1498, less than one per cent of its seven million African inhabitants are literate. Many of its African elite, educated as "showpieces" by the Portuguese, are now engaged in the liberation movement